Going over homework?

How do you review homework with your classes? Right now I’m just having the students ask questions and then we go through solving the problems they were unsure of. (Sometimes I do it, sometimes I have another student do it, sometimes I have the student who asked do it so we can figure out where they made a mistake.)

But it feels like that takes up waaaay too much class time, and I’m running out of time for teaching whatever new material I’d planned on. So…how do you do it?

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  • Brian  On August 30, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    I’ve gone back and forth with this myself. My current methods include assigning less homework more often and providing solutions electronically. Of the two, I’m more a fan of the first one. By only giving a problem or two a night in my physics classes, I’ve found students are more likely to do it and when questions do arise, there aren’t as many problems to discuss in class. Additionally, they are spending sometime thinking about physics almost every night. Providing solutions has worked well enough in the past, but I know that the majority of students didn’t bother to look at them. I don’t think I’ll be doing it this year.

    • Amanda  On August 31, 2010 at 10:54 am

      Thanks, Brian! I am providing them with the answers (odds are in the back of their book & I’m giving them the evens electronically), and I’m assigning roughly 10-20 problems. I will consider trying to reduce that number, or at least trying to stay on the low end of it. So far, the majority of my kids are choosing to do all or almost all of the problems.

      A colleague also suggested just going over one of each type of problem that they struggled with and then having them come to me individually if they needed further help than that one example.

  • 21stcenturychem  On September 6, 2010 at 7:51 am

    I also provide solutions electronically on our course website. This year I am adding screencasts of select solutions or sample problems. It is rare that students ask to go over a particularly challenging problem in class.

    For my advanced course, one solution presentation is required each quarter for each student. These tend to be individually assigned, and are given to the student a week before they will present it in front of the class.

  • The Space Between the Numbers  On September 17, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    I have a couple of things I’ve been doing. Sometimes I just write the answers on the board and have students check their work (not my favorite method, but it’s fast), sometimes I have students put their answers on the board and then I have a different student state whether they agree or disagree with the work and then I ask whether they would add or subtract anything (this is my favorite, but it does take more time). I also don’t assign homework every night so it doesn’t wind up clogging up class time on a regular basis.

    I’ve had some really good results with the agree/disagree, add/subtract procedure. It’s a lot more open-ended than me asking the question “is there anything we should add to this answer?” which translates instantaneously via the students’ Babelfish into “WHAT should we add to this answer?”.

  • David  On September 26, 2010 at 2:48 am

    My solution has to either provide homework that gives the students immediate feedback (such as quizzes assigned through http://thatquiz.org or http://assistments.org) or is something project-like that I know that kids can do by themselves but is still challenging.

    Really the only kids that benefit from repetitive from-the-textbook homework are the hard-working kids in the middle who actually check their answers. The weaker students reinforce their misunderstandings, and the stronger students don’t really need the extra practice, they got it in class.
    The hard working students in the middle of the class really benefit but they will do the extra work without prompting anyway.

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